Sunday, 28 April 2013

Novgorodians 1


Here is the first unit of my Novgorod force for the Baltic Crusades project – a unit of mounted Novgorodian druzhina led by their Prince. (Or maybe it's the druzhina of a lesser Prince sworn to Novgorod, I haven't decided yet.)

The druzhinas were the medieval Rus/Russian Princes' retinue. They were in some aspects similar to the western knights, and in some very different: e.g. they were influenced by the Mongols and other steppe warriors, and were sometimes equipped with bows when mounted (although they probably didn't use the traditional "hit and run" tactics usually associated with mounted bow units). They were also free to leave the service of the Prince and seek new employment.

Sometimes I just seem to struggle with certain miniatures, redoing and repainting all of or parts of them again and again. I have no idea why, but these mounted druhzina were definitely some of these. I think I've redone most steps on most of them – basing, posing, painting – until I was happy with them. Consequently they have taken a long time to finish. Of course, being cavalry it's like painting two models in one which also adds to the time.

Originally I was going to do them using my prefered "big army" painting method of base coat, wash and using the base coat as a highlight. However, I thought the models looked too dark (ages) and so I added another highlight to make them look a bit brighter. After this, they came out all right I think. I would have liked some more kite shields, to again make them look less dark ages, but I ran out of suitable transfers.

Despite my thorough testing of techniques for doing snow bases, thanks to Dalauppror's good advice I ended up using the much simpler method of applying a good splash of wood/carpenter's glue in patches on the bases and then just dunking them in the snow flock. Great result with a minimum of work – what more could you want?

Anyway, here are some more pictures:


The miniatures are all from Gripping Beast's Early Russ range, but with some models mounted on barded horsed from their Medieval Russians range to show their status as "senior druzhina". The shield transfers and flag are from Little Big Men Studios.

As we're using this project as an opportunity to playtest the upcoming Lion Rampant rules by Dan Mersey, due to be published by Osprey next year, unit sizes are from these rules: Mounted units are composed of 6 models, and most foot units are 12 models strong.

I'm working on the second unit of druzhina for my initial force, and it should be finished some time next week.

Finally I would like to welcome a new follower: David Brits. Thanks for joining, I hope you'll like the blog

Thanks all for reading!

19 comments:

  1. Those are quite beautiful Jonas.

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  2. Brilliant! Well worth all of the extra effort you put into them. Mixing in the barded horses was a great call.

    If I can ask, did you do a base gold color, sepia wash and then the highlight? Whatever it was, it works nicely!

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    1. Thank you Monty, that's very kind of you!

      The gold was done in these steps:
      1. Citadel Balthasar Gold.
      2. Wash with Army Painter Strong Tone ink.
      3. Highlight with Citadel Balthasar Gold.
      4. Highlight with Citadel Gehenna's Gold.
      5. Highlight with Auric Armour Gold.
      6. On the mask of the Prince I did a final highlight using a very light drybrush of VMC Natural Steel.

      It seems like a lot of steps but it didn't take too long and it was worth the effort I think. I don't use a lot of Citadel paints these days, but I have to say those three gold colours are very, very nice.

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    2. The results are spectacular. It's not easy to get great results and shade jumps in gold, as you've demonstrated! ;-)

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  3. Looking very nice! The metal is impressive!
    Phil.

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    1. Thanks Phil! The metal is dead simple to be honest – just a drybrush of VMC Gunmetal Grey over black, followed by a lighter drybrush of VMC Natural Steel.

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  4. They look great! And the bases turned out really nice as well.

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    1. Thank you! Yes I'm really happy with the bases, simple but effective.

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  5. Great looking unit. The snow technique is a keeper I think. It worked well.

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    1. Thanks Sean, I'm glad you like them. I will do the rest of the army using the same technique for the bases.

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  6. Is there something more rewarding than paintings Rus Knights ? You prove it ain't!

    Cheers Nico.

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    1. Thank you Nico! Your splendid Rus definitely were an inspiration for these.

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  7. Wow! These are top notch, love 'em!!!

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    1. Thanks Ray, I'm glad you like them! There will be another unit in a couple of days.

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  8. Very nice paint job on these!

    Christopher

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  9. Greate looking minis Jonas !!!

    Best regards Michael

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    1. Thanks Michael! It will be great to get them on the table and crush some crusading Swedes ...

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